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Panama the fastest country in the world to become a citizen!
Panama's Pensionado Program
Panama has put together the most appealing program of special benefits for retirees you’ll find anywhere in the world today…and the program is open to foreigners.
In Panama, resident pensionados or retirees are entitled to:
- 50% off entertainment anywhere in the country (movies, theaters, concerts, sporting events)
- 30% off bus, boat, and train fares
- 25% off airline tickets
- 25% off monthly energy bills
- 30% to 50% off hotel stays
- 15% off hospital bills**Unless insurance applies.Plus, you cannot arbitrarily lose Pensionado status. Though in other countries, new laws have affected the status of long-time retirees, sometimes stripping away their residency, Panama’s government has kept its pledge to grandfather in Pensionado residents. That means that even if future laws change the Pensionado requirements, your status will never change!
- So how do you become a member of the oh-so-fortunate Pensionado elite? It’s easier than you think. Let’s start with some of the basics:
- If you choose to obtain residency in Panama via the Pensionado Program, you’ll also be entitled to a one-time exemption of duties on the importation of household goods (up to $10,000) and tax exemptions every two years on the importation of a car (or, better yet, the local purchase of a car).
- Plus a lot more perks.
- You must draw a pension of at least $1,000 per month to qualify.
- You are not required to buy real estate in Panama to qualify.
- Foreigners who obtain residency via the Pensionado Program are protected from changes in the law, in effect allowing them to maintain residency in perpetuity.
- Foreigners on Pensionado status are not entitled to apply for Panamanian citizenship.* Note that you can apply for the Pensionado visa even if you have yet to reach the above ages. The government reviews applications on a case-by-case basis, and if you’ve begun receiving your pension early (because of disability or any other valid reason) you are welcome to apply, no matter what your age.Officially named the Permanent Residence for Nationals of Specific Countries, this visa opens the door for professionals and entrepreneurs from 47 countries that “maintain friendly, professional, economic, and investment relationships” with Panama, which includes the U.S. and Canada.
- The visa requires you to open a local bank account with a minimum balance of $5,000, as well as doing one of the following:
- By the way, you can enjoy Panama’s great Pensionado discounts no matter which residency permit you have. Legal permanent residents of Panama age 60 and over for men and 55 and over for women may ask for the discounts, even if they are not Pensionados. (This does not include tax exemptions for importation of household goods or car, but it does include tax exemption on the local purchase of a car.)
- purchase real estate, with a minimum required investment of $10,000;
- open a business,
- find employment in Panama.The forestry investor visa encourages the production and preservation of teak. Basically, the program consists of two options, dubbed the small forestry investor and the large forestry investor visas. The small forestry investor visa requires a minimum investment of $60,000, whereas the large forestry investor visa requires a minimum investment of $80,000.
- The Small Forestry Investor option has some significant drawbacks:
- It doesn’t grant you permanent residency after two to three years, like the other permits mentioned here.
- It is a temporary resident permit, and you must spend more time and money to re-apply every year for six years.
- Only on the seventh application will you be able to apply for permanent residency.If you have a different type of investment in mind, note that Panama offers many different visa alternatives; those listed above represent just a few of the more popular options.Professional Residence Permit, Applicants must have a university education, and unlike other visas, must make two applications, two years apart. When filing the final application, applicants must show that they have been employed in Panama for the last nine months and have been paying local social security.If you are from the U.S. or Canada, you do not need a visa for tourist visits of up to 90 days. Tourists may stay for up to 90 days and, in general, extensions are not available unless you can prove you need more time because you are changing your status from that of tourist…for example, if you entered Panama as a tourist and then decided to apply for residency.
- Tourist Visa
- This option is open to foreigners who would like to work in Panama, provided they do not choose professions reserved for Panamanian nationals (examples include medical professions, accounting, real estate, and law).
- For more information on the Forestry Investment visas and potential profits on this investment, contact us
- The Large Forestry Investor visa is granted provisionally for two years. After that, you may renew and apply for a permanent residency permit. Five years after obtaining permanent residency, you may apply for Panamanian citizenship.
Panama immigration laws require the following documents for permanent residency:
File a Formal Application to be a permanent resident along with a notarized Special Power of Attorney so our law firm is authorized to act on your behalf.
Submit a notarized copy of the entire passport.
Provide a Criminal History Background Report from your home country or the country where you have resided in for the past two years. This report must be prepared by a “national”, “central”, or “federal” police force on criminal investigator agency
(a) If the criminal background report is not coming from the applicant’s country of citizenship, but as a resident, his or her legal residency must be proven with a copy of the legal residency identification which must be Apostilled or authenticated.
(b) If the applicant has been a Panama resident for the past two years consecutively (not left the country) the Panama national police must provide the criminal background report.
The criminal background report must be authenticated by a Panama Consulate in the country which issued the report or by Apostille (internationally recognized authentication by a government agency with attached seals).
ask list of Panamanian Consulates around the world. 5. Original Panama doctor’s medical examination report.
(a) $800 USD for Immigration in case of applicant’s deportation; and
(b) $250 USD for the National Treasury as the immigration application fee.
Note: These checks are non-refundable whether the applicants is approved or rejected.
Sworn Affidavit which explains the reasons for applying for Panama permanent residency along with the ability to support the applicant’s family and dependents. (Our law firm will supply you with this form).
All documents must be “original”, “updated”, “official”, and “authenticated”. Here are the definitions for these terms: Original: The original document, not a copy;
Updated: Being recently dated not more than four (4) months since date of issue; Official: Directly issued by the agency or company and not printed via internet or scan or other external source;
Authenticated: Notarized and authenticated either by a nearby Panama Consul or by Apostille.
Copy Passport and Copy Driver license ( Need 2 original prove of identity)
If married a certificate of mariage with apostille
2 x reference letters bank or notary or lawyer or accountancy say you a trust full persone with stamp and contact information
Bank Account panama with minimum 5000 on the account certificate by the bank
Definition of Apostille An Apostille is a certification that a public document is authentic. The Apostille originated with the 1961 Hague Convention which abolished the tedious requirements for legalizing foreign public documents. In its stead, a simple certification by a public official is accepted to every nation which signed the 1961 Hague Convention. This is also known as the Hague Convention Apostille. The U.S. signed it in 1981. In the U.S., an Apostille of a driver’s license or marriage or death certificate can be done by a state’s Secretary of State. The Apostille is an official stamp or seal along with the signature of the government official. Documents certified by notary publics can also be Apostilled certifying the notary public’s authority by a state’s Secretary of State.
An Apostille eliminates the need for a document to be certified by the state and then by the federal government or embassy.
The Apostille can be used for birth certificate, marriage licenses, death certificates, driver’s licenses, court judgments, patents, and a notary’s authentication that a of a person’s signature.
The receiving country’s officials upon seeing the Apostille stamp or seal can be assured that the other country has authenticated that this is a legitimate copy of a public record. 104 nations have signed the Hague Convention Apostille including Panama and the U.S. However, Canada has not signed on.
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